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These things are evil....

JohnnyBanditJohnnyBandit Senior MemberPosts: 1,086 Officer
In all my years in the woods... I had never seen one before...

I had no idea what it was....I had to ask around to figure it out.

Called a Railroad Worm.... Sometimes called a Glow worm... They are supposed to glow in the dark..

I saw it by chance... Shot a couple of photos..

I was trying to figure out what it was or might be related to so I could later Identify it.

I went to flip it over with a small stick to look at its legs and underside...

As soon as I touched it with a stick, it spun around reared up and came right at me.


  • stc1993stc1993 Senior Member Posts: 10,430 AG
    I saw a glow worm in central FL when i was a kid camping out.
  • fishinbugfishinbug Senior Member Posts: 812 Officer
    Today I learned about railroad worms.  I had never heard of them.

  • kellerclkellercl Senior Member Posts: 12,798 AG
    Dang, I thought for sure you found bigfoot.
    #Lead beakerhead specialist 

    "Soul of the mind, key to life's ether. Soul of the lost, withdrawn from its vessel. Let strength be granted, so the world might be mended. So the world might be mended."
  • JohnnyBanditJohnnyBandit Senior Member Posts: 1,086 Officer
    kellercl said:
    Dang, I thought for sure you found bigfoot.

    LOL Excellent I had a mic drop moment today.... in a discussion.....
  • mindyabinessmindyabiness Senior Member FloridaPosts: 7,881 Admiral
    Nothing evil here.

    Railroad-worms routinely feed on millipedes that are as large or larger than they are, including the colorful American giant millipede, which can be up to 4 inches long.  First, they track down a millipede, then crawl onto its back before curling their head underneath to bite through the membrane between two of the segments to sever the nerve cord and paralyze their prey.  (As with insects, the nerve cord of millipedes is on the underside of their body.)  Then they feed leisurely by cutting into the body cavity and feeding on the contents, crawling deeper into the carcass as they feed.  This allows them to avoid most of the defensive secretions, which are released to the outside of the body. 

    Ironically, the insect they are mistaken for is the same insect they prefer to eat, the millipede. To no surprise, these insects are welcomed into gardens because they help eat all of the garden pests. It is believed, their luminescence is used to deter nocturnal predators from eating them. A sign that they are unpalatable.

    The family Phengodidae are uncommonly encountered beetles that have bioluminescent females that appear to be larvaiform (or larger versions of the immature stage.) These adult females are able to produce light from paired photic organs located on each body segment (one glowing spot on each side) and sometimes also from luminous bands that extend across the dorsal surface of the body between each body segment. Females appear to be more commonly encountered than larvae. Because these glowing spots along the females body resemble the windows of train cars internally illuminated in the night, they are often referred to as "railroad-worms."

    Glowworm!!! - Phengodes - BugGuide.Net

    Railroad-worm, Vol. 8, No. 11 | Mississippi State University Extension Service (

    glow-worms, railroad-worms (

    Arguing with idiots is like playing chess with a pigeon... No matter how good you are, the bird is going to crap on the board and strut around like it won anyway.
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